Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic and painful disease; it progresses step by step due to inflammation in the joints.
In Ayurveda it is correlated with Ama vata, said to be caused by weak Jatharagni or digestive fire due to which "Ama" an undigested by-product of the impaired digestion is produced. This Ama circulates in the whole body and deposits or gets collected in the body parts. When it deposits in the joints and at the same time if the level of vata increases in the body, there is quivering and breaking pain in the limbs and joints, as if crackling." But, "if it is localized in a particular joint, it produces swelling that feels like an air-filled bladder and produces pain on movement; this description is suggestive of arthritis
Vata doesn't increase at random in every joint throughout the body. It affects one part – mainly a joint – and gradually spreads to other joints.
- Normally a complex set of genes helps the body cells recognize and attack foreign invaders. There are many different kinds of white blood cells (WBC) and important proteins that help recognize and protect against certain foreign chemicals.
In an autoimmune disease, WBCs react to proteins that are supposed to be in our body ("self" proteins). RA is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system attacks synovial membranes. These membranes surround joints. As they are attacked, they thicken with inflammation. The process begins to destroy cartilage and bone inside the joint.
- Poor eating habits and weak digestion
- Certain behaviors, such as smoking, make RA more likely
- Inherited tendency.-Certain genes linked to a protein called the Human Leukocyte Antigen can make RA more of a risk
- Women are two to three times more likely to get RA than men
- Obesity increases the likelihood of developing RA
- Chemical exposures like insecticides , traffic pollution, hairspray, and lipstick might have chemicals that can cause an increased risk
- Tender, warm, swollen joints
- Joint mobility is affected
- Joint stiffness that is usually worse in the mornings and after inactivity
- Fatigue, fever and weight loss
- Disease affects smaller joints first - particularly the joints that attach fingers to hands and toes to feet.
- As the disease progresses, symptoms often spread to the wrists, knees, ankles, elbows, hips and shoulders. In most cases, symptoms occur in the same joints on both sides of body.
- Changes in an RA sufferer's immune system can occur years before symptoms develop. Anti-CCP antibodies are more specific for diagnosing RA than the RF antibody. Anti-CCP may be detected years before the onset of disease.
- Rheumatoid Factor (Quantitative) test
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate
- Serum uric acid (for exclusion)
- X-ray of the affected joint
- Routine urine, blood examination
Ayurvedic Medicines should be given for improving Digestion so that no further ama is produced and to relieve the pain, improving the lubrication of joints and inflammation. Planet Ayurveda offers a combination of Medicines as RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS CARE PACK which consists of:
1. Joint Aid Plus:
Joint aid plus capsules contain pure and standardized extracts of Giloy, Nirgundi, sonth, Guggul, etc.
- Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia) which is an important immune-modulator herb, helps in enhancing body energy and strength immune system which in turn aids in keeping body protected against infections. It has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects too.
- Nirgundi (Vitex negundo) exhibits analgesic, anti-inflammatory and pain reliving action found to be effective in joint pain and swelling, has a definite action on vitiated Vata Kapha Dosha. Specially, Tikta and Katu Rasa present in Nirgundi possess the antagonistic properties to that of Ama and Kapha which are the chief causative factors in this disease. Because of their Agnivriddhikara property they increase digestive power which also digests Amarasa and reduces excessive production of Kapha and also removes the obstruction of the Srotas. Because of Tikshna Guna and Ushna Virya it also alleviates vitiated Vata and reduces Srotorodha and pain. Thus Nirgundi controls Ama and Vata together and minimize the process of pathogenesis.
- Sonth reduces inflammatory process in the body.
- Guggul (Commiphora mukul) is herb of choice for joint pains in Ayurveda, it pacifies the aggravated Vata and Kapha doshas (air and phlegm body humors), both of the doshas and useful in joint pain, stiffness and swelling. It promotes healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels and provides broad health and immune-modulating benefits.
2. Boswellia Curcumin:
Boswellia curcumin is a combination of herbs namely Boswellia serrata or Shallaki with Curcuma longa or haridra. It is widely used as a substitute to modern pain killer medicines, it contains sitosterol, Glucosides which helps in relieving pain and improves joint mobility and flexibility along with Curcumin (active extracts of Turmeric) which has anti-inflammatory property.
3. Ashwagandha Capsules:
The anti-inflammatory properties of Ashwagandha make it an excellent natural remedy for treating all kinds of joint pain, including pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
4. Aamvatantaka Churna:
Aamvatantaka churna is a combination of Ashwagandha (Withania somniferum), Methi, Suranjan, Giloy, sonth and haridra.
- Ashwagandha is a powerful anti-inflammatory has been found to be reducing swelling and degenerative bone changes more than the steroid and when combined with turmeric or Curcumin ashwagandha helps to significantly reduce pain and disability for patients.
- Methika/ Fenugreek (Trigonella – foenum graecum) is effective to alleviate pain associated with arthritis. The seeds possess antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties which help in auto-immune disorders i.e inhibit inflammation of tissue by activating pathways that counteract the effects of autoimmunity disorders. Suranjan (Colchicum luteum) contains an alkaloid named colchicines is a good pain reliever, improves digestion, also a mild laxative so helps in relieving constipation.
- Giloy or Tinospora cordifolia relieves Ama - Indigestion, Improves digestion power, relieves burning sensation in the body. In RA, there will be some level of depletion in immunity. Indian Tinospora (Giloya) and ginger/sonth (Zingiber officianale) are very powerful herbs with anti-inflammatory effects and anti-microbial properties.
- Gorakhmundi (Sphaerathus Indicus) has anti-inflammatory and analgesic activities with immune-modulatory agent, which acts by stimulating both humoral and cellular immunity as well as phagocytic function.
- Joint Aid Plus - 2 cap. Twice daily with plain water after meals.
- Boswellia Curcumin - 2 cap. Twice daily with plain water after meals.
- Ashwagandha Capsules - 2 cap twice daily with plain water after meals.
- Aamvatantak Churna - 1 teaspoonful twice daily, 1 hr. after meals with plain water.
Although there is no diet cure for arthritis, certain foods have been shown to fight inflammation, strengthen bones and boost the immune system.
- Steamed vegetables like bottle-gourd, squash, zucchini, spinach ,carrot, drumstick, round gourd, cucumber, beetroot, garlic , cinnamon, ginger, cumin, fennel, coriander, fenugreek, vegetable soup
- Carrots, Red Peppers and Squash Onions, Garlic, Leeks and Shallots Olives,Omega-3 fatty acids soybeans, walnut oil ,Extra virgin olive oil, safflower oils Avocado, Cherry Broccoli Green (Tea) Dark Green Leafy Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, Brussels sprouts, kale, etc. are packed with antioxidants like vitamins A, C and K, which protect cells from free-radical damage.
- Citrus fruits - like oranges, grapefruits and limes – which are rich in vitamin C. aids in preventing inflammatory arthritis
- Whole grains sources like oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain cereals Buckwheat- Bulgur: Millet- Quinoa - Sorghum- Rye: Whole oats- Whole wheat.
- Nuts like almonds, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts
- Spices like cinnamon, ginger, Turmeric Cayenne black pepper and garlic with an anti-inflammatory benefits
- All food items which induce gas, acidity & constipation should be avoided.
- Avoid fried oily & junk foods, spices like red chili, tamarind, cold and sour foods.
- Cool-drinks, Cheese, chocolates, coffee
- Cauliflower, Potato, cabbage, beans, brinzal / Eggplants, radish, colocasia, sweet potato
- Smoking, Pan Masala, alcohol
- Dairy Products
- Fruits like Banana, plums, cranberries should be avoided.
- All pulses should be avoided except whole Moong dal (green gram)
- Fridge water Soda, tinned or canned juices and foods, frozen foods, white flour (Maida) refined sugar.
- The roots of Ashwagandha to be crushed, mixed with water and should be applied topically to the painful area.
- A teaspoon of fenugreek powder with lukewarm water should be taken twice in a day
- Take 100 gram mustard oil and add 10 gram camphor in it. Heat until the camphor dissolves into this oil. Massage with this lukewarm oil on affected joints to get quick relief.
- Two garlic pearls with 2 ounces of buttermilk should be taken daily.
- Drum stick: fruit and leaves, being in rich in calcium & vitamin C, is beneficial in Arthritis.
- Body massage with sesame or mustard oil
- Consumption of at least thirty to fifty grams of ginger serves to reduce the painful conditions
- Regular consumption of methi (fenugreek), jeera (cumin) and dhaniya (coriander) can help beat arthritis. Methi helps in controlling degenerative disorders. Jeera improves digestion and thereby controls obesity, while dhaniya is a good antacid and fights gas trouble.
Exercise should be done gently & slowly, excessive should be avoided.
- Body should be kept warm
- Hot water bath
- Protect oneself in cold weather by wearing warm cloths
- Constipation should be avoided.
- Food rich in Vitamin E, calcium and oil can help prevent arthritis. Eat lots of fruits, green leafy vegetables and milk products.
- Drink plenty of water, which is necessary for joint lubrication. It also helps with weight maintenance.
- Face the sun for at least 45 minutes a day. Direct sunlight is a good source of Vitamin D, which maintains calcium levels in your body, and B12.
- Water kept in copper vessel kept overnight and taken in the morning empty stomach
- Avoid Sleeping during day time, staying up late in the night and mental tensions like worry, anxiety, fear, stress and grief etc. Arthritis is often worsened by heightened stress, anxiety, and mental fatigue
- Steaming is preferable to boiling because it preserves the nutrients in the vegetables